Here’s Why Reading Makes You Sleepy

All of the sleep experts ever say that having the television on while you’re trying to wind down or actively go to sleep is the opposite of helpful. So, if you have trouble falling asleep, you might have been told to pick up a book instead.

Now, aside from the moment when you’ve gotten so into a book you can’t sleep until you find out what’s happening, that’s generally great advice – but why?

Image Credit: iStock

The fact that you’ve gotten really comfortable before cracking the spine is a big part of the reason, says BBC’s Science Focus.

“For many people, reading can be relaxing and enjoyable, which can put your mind and body in the appropriate mindset or mood to go to sleep.”

Dr. Raman Malhotra, a neurologist and member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s board, agrees.

“The main reason reading may help some fall asleep is that it allows your mind some time to rest and relax before turning out the lights to fall asleep.”

It could also be partly due to the fact that our brains have to expend a decent amount of energy to process the written word, especially if you’ve chosen a dense volume.

Your brain gets tired, your eyes need a break, so you do the math.

Image Credit: iStock

These factors make a book a great way to wind down before bed, but what if you actually want (or need) to finish a book that you’ve started?

Book Riot suggests reading first thing in the morning or listening to audiobooks while walking the dogs, doing some cleaning, etc.

Reading in public, like in a park or a coffee shop, also makes falling asleep impossible (most likely).

Image Credit: iStock

You can also try sitting up instead of lying down, but I don’t know. That sounds fake.

Either way, if you love books, this is just one more reasons you can feel confident they’re better than television.

Pass it on!